Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
THE ENCOURAGEMENT PROJECT
Jesus said “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for today.” Matthew 6:34
Good morning Prayer Team!
Sometimes even the best sports teams go on a losing streak. A major league baseball season lasts 162 games. It is not uncommon that even the best teams will have a losing streak of four or five games during the course of a season. Let’s say that a team has lost five games in a row. What do you think their morale is like before their next game? Do you think that they think “we are terrible”? Professional athletes will tell you that their mindset before every game is “Get a win today!”
Let’s say that a team has lost many games in a row and they win on a particular day. What do you think the mood is like after the game? Do you think the team thinks “well, we still stink”? Professional athletes will tell you that their mindset after every win is “We won today. Let’s go win tomorrow.”
In life, sometimes we go on “losing streaks.” We go through a bad time at work, in marriage, with our children, even with our faith. We have crises and we wonder if our marriage is doomed, or if our kids will not be successful adults, or if our jobs are going to work out, or if we’ll feel overweight forever, or whatever myriad of things causes us to feel discouraged.
One of my best friends has a phrase, “let’s get some wins” which he uses to boost morale for his co-workers when he or they perceive there is a losing streak going on. And this is among the best pieces of advice and encouragement I receive. I think of this often actually. If today is the start of a new day, I haven’t gotten in an argument, I haven’t eaten poorly, I haven’t failed to exercise, I haven’t made a mistake at work, and so a “win” today is possible. Yesterday, whether I won or lost, is over. Tomorrow is tomorrow. The challenge is to get a win today.
To the couple whose marriage is not what they want it to be, go on a few dates, have some good days, get some wins.
To the person who hasn’t exercised, go exercise today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Get some wins.
To the person who doesn’t have a good work ethic, put in a good effort today, tomorrow and get some wins.
To the person who doesn’t pray or read the Bible, don’t count all the days or years you haven’t done these. Pray today. Read the Bible today. Get a spiritual win today! And then go for a repeat tomorrow and the next day.
If you’ve had a lot of wins, but have had a few bad days, don’t think of the bad days, get right back into winning form. And if you are on a good streak, get a win today and keep it going.
Today is all we have. The “games” of yesterday have already been played. You either won them or lost them. The “games” of tomorrow will not be played today. So play the “game” of today as best you can. And strive to get a win today.
Lord, thank You for the gift of a new day. Thank You that each new day brings a new opportunity to succeed at something. Help me to focus on the needs and the opportunities of today. Help me to focus today on prayer, on reading scripture, on following Your commandments. Help me to have a good work ethic today. Help me to be kind today. Help me to glorify You today. Amen.
Go get a win today!
Dedicated to AC, who inspires me and so many others to “count the wins.”
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